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Constellation announces dividend

VICTOR (AP) — Constellation Brands said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income jumped 37 percent as sales of its Mexican beer brands Corona Extra and Modelo Especial rose. Constellation also said it will pay its first dividend since it went public 42 years ago, and its shares rose to an all-time high Thursday.

The wine, liquor and beer company said it will pay a dividend of 31 cents per share for holders of its Class A common stock and 28 cents per share for its Class B common stock. It will be paid on May 22, to those who own stock by May 8.

Beer sales, which included Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and Negra Modelo, rose 12 percent. Sales of its wine and spirit brands, including Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka vodka, rose 1 percent.

The Victor company reported net income of $214.6 million, or $1.06 per share, in the three month ending February 28, compared with $157.2 million, or 79 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.